The Farm

Australia's cattle and sheep farmers are committed to sustainable and ethical production. They are the custodians of 47% of Australia's landmass, caring for approximately 28 million cattle and 74 million sheep.

The Farm

Australia's cattle and sheep farmers are committed to sustainable and ethical production. They are the custodians of 47% of Australia's landmass, caring for approximately 28 million cattle and 74 million sheep.

Farm

Australian cattle and sheep producers are recognised around the world for their animal husbandry and farm management techniques.

The Australian livestock industry takes pride in its genetics and is at the forefront of technological advancements in livestock production efficiency. Australian farmers are also highly progressive in the areas of farm and pasture improvement and water management. Our industry is focused on the highest possible food safety standards with traceability and quality assurance systems through the supply chain; and is built largely by family owned producers committed to delivering world-class beef and lamb.

BEEF

Beef

Australia produces 3% of the world’s beef supply and is the third largest beef exporter in the world. Beef is produced in every state and territory in Australia however, nearly 50% of the national herd is located in Queensland.

Around 97% of Australia’s 28 million cattle are located on pasture based cattle properties and stations. The Australian beef industry is broadly grouped into northern and southern production areas…

Production Regions

Northern production system is characterised by a relatively small number of large properties with high cattle numbers. The dominant cattle breeds are Bos Indicus (eg Brahman) or Bos Indicus cross (eg Droughtmaster) which are better suited to the harsh environmental conditions and ticks.

Southern production system is characterised by a large number of smaller properties which have lower cattle numbers. The dominant cattle breeds are Bos Taurus (eg Angus or Hereford) which are better suited to the more temperate environmental conditions.

BOS INDICUS

Originating from Asia, Bos Indicus breeds of cattle are a natural fit for humid, tropical regions like northern Australia. Their slick, short haired coats and naturally occurring chemicals in their sweat repel cattle ticks and other parasites. Some Bos Indicus breeds also produce a chemical in their tails, so that when they swat flies, they are also applying their own insect repellent.

Bos Indicus cattle generally have a larger frame and longer legs which allows them to easily cover the large and sparse areas of land in search of food and water – they are also natural foragers which makes them adaptable to harsh drought conditions.

Cattle with Bos Indicus bloodlines can be distinguished by a hump on their back, which sits across their shoulders. This is a fat store kept for tough times, similar to a camel. They also have large, floppy ears and dewlap (the saggy skin in front of their briskets) which help to keep the cattle cool.

Common breeds include

  • Brahman
  • Broughtmaster
  • Santa Gertrudis
  • Brangus (a cross of Angus and Brahman)
  • Braford (a cross of Hereford and Brahman)

BOS TAURUS

Bos Taurus cattle originated in Europe and are often referred to as ‘British breeds’ – they prefer more temperate climates and as such are mostly found in the Southern regions of Australia. They have thicker coats to weather cooler winters and do not have the notable 'hump' of their Bos Indicus relatives.

With a smaller frame, they mature more quickly and grow muscle bulk more rapidly that their Bos Indicus cousins.

Arguably the best known Bos Taurus breed is the Angus, which originates from Scotland. The Angus is a breed that carries remarkable adaptability and quality genetics and they are regularly used to strengthen other breeds of cattle through crossbreeding.

Common breeds include

  • Angus
  • Hereford
  • Shorthorn
  • Charolais
  • Simmental
  • Murray Grey

WAGYU

Wagyu is a Japanese breed of cattle derived from native Asian cattle – ‘Wa’ means Japanese and ‘gyu’ means cattle. Despite their Asian cattle origins, they are actually classified as Bos Taurus.

Wagyu were used for centuries in Japan as hardworking draft animals, selected for their physical endurance – the large amounts of intramuscular fat cells provided a readily available source of energy.

Australia now has the largest Wagyu heard outside Japan although 80-90% of domestic production is exported. Traditionally, wagyu are raised on pasture and then spend a considerable amount of time in high tech feedlots – anywhere from a year through to 600 days; wagyu production is therefore a considerably longer process than grass fed or grain fed beef.

Wagyu is unsurpassed for its marbling which results in tender and juicy beef with rich textures and flavour. Wagyu tends to have a softer fat composition and a finer meat texture than other beef.

LAMB

Lamb

Australia is the world’s largest exporter of sheep meat and the second largest producer of lamb and mutton.

In Australia, sheep are produced in a wide range of climates from the arid and semi-arid parts of the inland region, to the high rainfall areas of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania and the southwest corner of Western Australia. NSW is the largest producer accounting for 26 million of the national flock.

All Australian sheep are raised on pasture with the significant majority finished on pasture. A very small proportion of sheep farmers, around 5%, grain finish their lamb to optimise growth.

GOAT

Goat

In Australia, goat production can generally be grouped into two key categories – rangeland and farmed.

Rangeland essentially relates to unmanaged or wild animals usually harvested annually whilst farmed means the animals are more specifically managed in a similar way to Australian sheep and cattle.

Production Types

Rangeland goats (also known as unmanaged, bush or wild goats) are a combined breed of goats which have adapted to live in Australia's low rainfall, often arid rangelands.

Harvesting Australian rangeland goat populations for meat, started in 1953 and continued sporadically until the 1990’s with the introduction of Boer goats, which allowed for more regulated farming techniques and more widely available goatmeat. In the past (and even now) the majority of these animals were wild harvested for export. In recent years a growing number of producers are domesticating these goats in extensive, rangeland environments and managing them as a stable component of their businesses along with sheep and cattle. The rangeland goat is a major source of product for the Australian goat meat industry.

Farmed goats are generally produced in higher rainfall, more productive agricultural areas of Australia. Due in part to the environment, and smaller herd sizes, they are subject to more intensive husbandry practices then goats produced in the rangelands and are managed similarly to domestic sheep or cattle.

Traditionally a by-product of the fibre industry, farmed goatmeat in Australia began to elevate in1994 with the intorudciton of the South African Boer breed - their robust and resilient nature allowed herds to be farmed specifically for meat. Cultivated in South Africa since the early 1900’s, Boer goats were selected for the quality of their meat, rather than milk or hair. Due to focused cultivation, Boer goats have a fast growth rate and a solid muscle bulk, which makes it one of the most popular breeds farmed for goat meat in the world. These resilient Boer goats were bred with Australian domestic herds, producing an animal suited to living in arid Australian conditions, while also producing a meatier result. Thanks to this blending of breeds, Australian goat meat has become less of a seasonal commodity and is now available at most times of the year.

VEAL

Veal

Traditions of veal rearing and veal butchery vary from country to country. Veal in Australia is different from that of Europe and America.

In Australia, we don't produce ‘white veal’ which is from calves about 18 - 20 weeks’ old that are fed only milk, and have movement and exposure to sunlight restricted. Australia has a strict code of animal welfare practices which ensures the animals are reared in the open, in small groups and fed a diet of milk and grass or grain.

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